The IGP should be non-partisan professional top policeman to uphold law without fear or favour and not to act like the Security Chief of Prime Minister to harass and persecute dissent

I commend the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar for his composure and being unfazed by a video of three men threatening to blow up his car with him inside it, which is expected of all holders of public office and trust when confronted with extremist threats to cow them from carrying out their public duties.

Khalid sets a good example in declaring that he is not intimidated by the death threat against him, his denunciation of the group known as “Anak Malaysia Anti Demokrasi” as irresponsible for not respecting parliamentary democracy and not knowing the real meaning of democracy.

All Malaysians will support the firmest actions taken by the authorities to punish severely those involved in IS-type videos to threaten violent acts, including murder the current IGP, as Malaysians must not allow such deplorable culture to take root in the country.

On Feb. 15, a video was uploaded under a You Tube account named ISIS Malaysia 69 which featured four masked men threatening to light up fireworks in courts across the country, which was followed by another one, featuring a group of three individuals that called themselves Anak Muda Anti-Democracy (AMAD) on Tuesday which threatened to kill Khalid, by blowing up his car with him inside it.

The last thing Malaysia needs is the introduction of IS-type of barbarities and atrocities on our shores.

A day before the IS-type video death threat to Khalid, I had issued a statement criticizing the IGP for a wrong sense of priorities, setting up the world’s first police special unit on sedition for him to twitter instructions to harass Pakatan Rakyat leaders and NGO activists while overlooking the bigger national threat of Islamic State extending its tentacles to vulnerable young Malaysians including 14-year-old boys and girls.

I do not know whether the IS-type video death threat to the IGP the next day is serious and genuine evidence of the arrival of IS-type culture to Malaysia or a sick stupid joke, but the substance of my criticism of the IGP’s recent obsessions remains valid and pertinent.

I agree with the Home Minister, Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who said yesterday that the post of IGP must be respected as whoever assumes the role acts as an institution and not an individual.

It is precisely because Khalid as IGP represents an institution and not an individual that he should be mindful of his role and responsibilities – to always act as a non-partisan professional top policeman to uphold law without fear or favour, regardless of whether the transgressors are from the Opposition and civil society or from government ranks, and not to act like the Security Chief or point man of the Prime Minister’s praetorian guard to harass and persecute dissent.

Khalid’s recent conduct as IGP has fallen fall short of such high professional standards expected of the institutional high office of an IGP, undermining national and international confidence in the credibility and integrity of the institution of IGP.

It is like the referee of a soccer game forgetting his non-partisan professional role and taking sides with one team against another during the game, allowing not only foul kicks by the team he sided but disposing of a few foul kicks himself!

The IGP should stay out of the political fray of the nation involving the political contestants, whether the government, the Opposition or civil society, scrupulously and jealously guarding his political neutrality, upholding the law without fear or favour and acting against those who transgress the law, whether government or opposition.

Unfortunately, Khalid has built quite a negative image of himself as point man for the Prime Minister, leading the campaign to harass, intimidate and even intimidate Pakatan Rakyat leaders and NGO activists while totally blind to the violations and transgression of the law committed by Barisan Nasional and pro-UMNO/BN elements.

Khalid will only undermine the credibility and integrity of the office of IGP if he continues in such a selective and misguided fashion.

Is Khalid prepared to halt all harassment and persecution of Pakatan Rakyat leaders and NGOs activists like the latest cases involving DAP Perak State Chairman and MP for Taiping, Nga Kor Ming, the PKR Secretary-General and MP for Pandan, Rafizi Ramli, the Penang Exco and PKR Youth deputy chief Dr. Afif Bahardin, the PSM Secretary-General S. Arutchelvan, cartoonist Zunar or Zulkiflee SM Anwar, and NGO activists like student leaders Adam Adli Abdul Halim and Fariz Musa, human rights lawyer Eric Paulsen, Bersih activist Hishamuddin Rais and begin to take actions against UMNO people like the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Ibrahim Sabri and the former Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Mashitah Ibrahim for their hate speech and lies?

However, of great concern to all keen and observant Malaysians is the sense that the police and government authorities have lost the plot as far as the new and grave security threat posed by the new phenomenon of Islamic State to Malaysia.

There should otherwise have been no initial enthusiasm for the advances of Islamic State as expressed publicly by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak at an UMNO function last June.

It is a matter of grave security concern that despite police efforts to keep the Islamic State threat under check in the past six months, the Malaysian authorities seem to be fighting a losing battle as the threat of Islamic State has increased by leaps and bounds over the months to not only lure Malaysian Muslim youths and even 14-year-old boys and girls to join them in their international terrorist activities in Syria and Iraq, but to be able to operate their cells in the country as to plot the kidnap of Malaysian Chinese towkays and to stage bank robberies – as revealed by the Home Minister in one of his recent but questionable pronouncements.

On Christmas Eve last December, police arrested a 27-year-old woman at the KLIA planning to travel to Syria to join a ISIS fighter she had married over Skype two weeks earlier.

Last month, a 29-year-old Malaysian deportee from Australia was arrested in Kuala Lumpur on suspicion of running a transit cell to Syria for Malaysians recruited for the terrorist group Islamic State.

Only yesterday, it was reported that there had been a sixth Malaysian death in Syria fighting for the Islamic State cause.

Not less than 60 Malaysians have been recruited by people in the Islamic State terrorist activities in Syria. The police have detained about 50 Malaysians so far, for attempting to join the IS or for facilitating their recruitment.

The conflicting and even confusing statements made by various Cabinet Ministers and government departments, including the Education Ministry, the Home Ministry, the Minister for Women, Family and Community Development, the religious departments, when a 14-year-girl from Muar, Johore who studied in a tahfiz school in Shah Alam was arrested at the KLIA as she was about to fly off to Syria last week, is the best proof that the police and government authorities are quite lost as to how to deal with the Islamic State threat.

The arrest of the 14-year-old girl on Feb. 17 is believed to be the second time a teenager was detained over suspected IS-involvement as on Oct. 13, a 14-year-old was among five of his family members nabbed for attempting to join the IS terrorist group.

Commenting on the influence the Islamic State terrorist group have over Malaysia, former Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Musa, said the relevant authorities should do more to educate the people on how the terrorists have deviated from the true teachings of Islam and advised Malaysians to stay away and avoid getting themselves involved with these Syrian-based terrorists.

Musa said: “The Malays in our country, when speaking about Islam, they are easily influenced to help based on sympathy. So we have to remind them that this (IS) is not our problem, don’t get involved in other country’s problems.”

It is this type of laid-back reactive rather than creative and proactive strategy which explains why the challenge of the idea of Islamic State transcending national borders is not “” matched effectively, as the appeal of Islamic State does not rely on traditional media or channels to spread their message but on their mastery of the social websites with thousands of efficient and fast-working cybertroopers promoting the IS ideology.

The Malaysian mainstream media, reflecting the thinking of the their political masters in government, still present a fairly benign image of Islamic State despite their barbarities and atrocities like beheadings, crucifixions and mass slaughters.

A leading article in the latest issue of Atlantic, “What ISIS Really means” has agued: “The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse.”

The Islamic State is hinged on the Salafi-Jihad ideology which promotes Daulah Islamiah through waging wars and declaring as “infidels” governments that do not uphold Syariah laws, which includes all the heads of state of every Muslim country with man-made law above Sharia – including Malaysia.

With the announcement of the restoration of the “Caliphate”, Islamic State is now engaged in a new phase of “offensive jihad” – the forcible expansion into countries that are ruled by non-Muslims or do not submit to the Caliphate.

As an IS ideologue explained, “without a caliphate, offensive jihad is an inapplicable concept. But the waging of war to expand the caliphate is an essential duty of the caliph”.

The barbaric laws of war which the Islamic State practises are presented as policies of mercy rather than of brutality – that the state has an obligation to terrorize its enemies with beheadings, crucifixions and enslavement of women and children, because doing so hastens victory and avoids prolonged conflict.

The political and government authorities must quickly grasp the full complexities and challenges of the Islamic State threat to the security and even nation-building process of Malaysia and work out an effective national strategy to counter and defeat it.

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should present a second White Paper when Parliament meets on March 9 on the latest update of the Islamic State threat to Malaysia.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah